Simons Family History
At the time of Fred’s birth, Chicago still endured periodic epidemics of waterborne diseases, especially cholera. Such outbreaks occurred when rainstorms pushed river water far out into the lake, from which the city’s drinking water was collected. Reversing the Chicago River, polluted with factory discharges, slaughterhouse offal, and sewage, had long been seen as the best way to end these epidemics. After this reversal, deaths from waterborne diseases plummeted. During heavy storms, however, the area’s rivers still backed up into basements and occasionally the lake itself. Even as late as 1954 and 1957, the Chicago River overflowed and flooded downtown Chicago.
Margaret Fietz was 27 at the time of Fred’s birth. According to Fred’s birth certificate, Margaret was born in Berlin, Germany, and the German spelling of her name was Margeretta. However, the spelling on her gravestone is Margaretha and that is the spelling that will be used hereafter. Although the Census reports that she was naturalized in 1902, no record has yet been found of this nor of her emigration, as is also true for her sister, Martha. Margaretha died on March 4, 1902, at the age of 29, of consumption. She is buried in the Simons family plot at Forest Home Cemetery in Chicago. The death and burial place of her sister is unknown at this time. A continual complication in trying to trace Margaretha’s life is that there were not only several variations of her given name but she was listed as Ann M in the cemetery listings and as Anna M. in the death certificate index. An additional mystery concerning the two sisters is that Fred listed Martha Fietz as his mother on at least one employment application in 1945.
By the 1910 Census, Fredrick and his father were listed as living with Elmer’s brother-in-law, Charles Downer, a physician, in Chicago. Charles was the husband of Elmer’s sister, Cora, and they had a daughter, Sadye. They also had a son, Clarence, although he is not listed on the Census. Also living with this family in 1910 was Elmer and Cora’s mother, Sarah, by now a widow of 76. Hugh and Arthur were both adopted by Clarence Downer and his wife. Apparently a Scottish woman became widowed and unable to care for her six children. Clarence and his wife were one of three couples who adopted 2 children each, in an attempt to keep the siblings together in some fashion. Hugh’s younger brother, Arthur, died of diphtheria at the age of 3 and is buried in the Simons plot in Chicago. Their oldest brother, George, refused to be adopted and kept the last name of Cameron.
Fred attended Crane Junior College for one year, from 1918-1919. Later known as Crane Technical School for Boys, it is now called Malcolm X College but is no longer in the original building. He was apparently in some type of ROTC at that time as he was honorably discharged from the United States Army on November 6, 1918. According to the discharge paper, Fred had brown hair and eyes, with fair complexion. He was five foot, six inches in height, and his occupation is listed as ‘student.’ His serial number was 5275373 and his rank was Private S.A.T.C. Crane Jr. College. The reason for discharge seems to read E.T.S. for Tel. A.G.O.
Chicago’s population of 2.1 million at the time of World War I included more than 225,000 residents born in Germany or Austria and many more who traced their ancestry to those countries. There were also tens of thousands of Russians who had fled the czars and their armies. As a result, Chicago was slow to become involved in signing up its young men and eventually a draft was instituted. Of the three hundred thousand draft-age males who signed up in Chicago, two-thirds sought exemptions. Even with the large German population, anti-German sentiment was evident, the Bismarck Hotel became the Hotel Randolph, and anti-German signs were posted in various areas of the city. Shortly before the end of the War, a flu epidemic killed 381 Chicagoans in a single day.
By the 1920 Census, Frederick was 19, working as a Draftsman for the C.M. & --P.R.R. and living with his father and Nellie, Elmer’s second wife. Nellie was a music teacher, born in Canada about 1863. Some time after 1920, Fred married Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Land. He may be listed in the 1928 Chicago City Directory as either a roomer at 365 E. 58th Street or a head of household (two men with the name “Fred,” no middle initial) at 7137Wentworth Avenue. His father is listed, along with his step-mother, Nellie E, as living at 2405 Flournoy in Chicago. Elmer’s occupation is machinist and Nellie is a music teacher.
In 1920, the Volstead Act went into effect and Prohibition began. Speakeasies flourished in Chicago and the gangs that supplied them operated openly. The police chief at that time complained that “60 percent of my police are in the bootleg business.” A Brooklyn thug named Alphonse Capone was called to Chicago to help a then-dominant Chicago gang open a string of suburban vice-and-booze roadhouses. After several shootings and competing gang raids, Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Bugs” Moran split the city into territories and Capone became a Chicago celebrity as his power and wealth increased.
On August 16, 1925, a baby girl, Irma Lee Simons, was born. She lived for only two hours and is buried in an unmarked grave next to Margaretha. She was the second of a set of twins born to Burtis Anson Simons and Pearl Blade Simons. Burtis is listed as an ‘artist’ and a family letter reports he was working as a pattern and design maker. His birthplace was Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Pearl’s place of birth was Chicago. Burtis was a son of Sileanus and Lillian, Alpha’s youngest brother, his age was 41, Pearl was 39 and they lived at 1047 Erie Street in Oak Park. Pearl had 4 other children prior to Irma Lee’s birth and death. Sileanus and his family lived in Joliet and Maywood IL after leaving Michigan. He was a market farmer and “Lilly” was a doll maker. Sileanus was a veteran of the Civil War and died at the National Soldiers Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where he is buried. Lilly’s burial place is unknown.
Several photographs that seem to have belonged to Fred still exist. One of these is a picture of an “Apartment Bldg., Oak Park - 1925- 1927”, this coincides with the neighborhood and date of Irma Lee’s birth. Another photograph is of “Ebinger Grade School, across alley from 6825 Osceola Avenue, in Edison Park, Chicago”. Any significance of this photograph is unknown at this time.
The mid-1920’s saw the era of Chicago’s golden age of radio production. Amos and Andy, The Breakfast Club, Little Orphan Annie, Fibber McGee and Molly were national favorites that originated from Chicago, making it a radio capital until eventually most shows had moved to New York or Los Angeles.
On Valentine’s Day, 1929, on a frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 212 North Clark Street, seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and riddled with ninety bullets from submachine guns, shotguns, and a revolver. Known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, it led to several decades of Capone’s sole control of the city’s organized crime but it finally aroused and shocked a city that had grown numb to gangland killings.
By the fall of 1929, the farm belt was already in a depression and the Roaring Twenties ground to a halt when the Stock Market crashed. More than 160 banks in Chicago failed and nearly 1,400 familes in the first half of 1931 alone were evicted. Al Capone sponsored soup lines and for the next dozen years, the Great Depression would be the gray, grim backdrop of life.
In 1931, “Public Enemy Number One,” Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion and spent eight years in prison. Ill when he got out, he moved to his winter home in Florida where he remained until his death in 1947 of syphilis. In 1933, Prohibition was repealed. In 1934, John Dillinger, another Public Enemy Number One, was shot and killed in front of the Lincoln Avenue movie house, the Biograph Theater, and his body put on display at the Cook County Morgue for the citizens of Chicago to see.
Some time in the 1940’s, reportedly, Fred changed his middle name from Fietz to Fitz because of anti-German feeling during WWII. Reportedly, Fred married Faye Owen in Nashville, TN, sometime in the early 1940’s. According to Faye on her death bed in 1995, this was a bigamous marriage as Fred and his first wife had never divorced. As of yet, the truth of this is unknown. On August 20, 1942, Fred and Faye had one daughter, Karen Rae (named after her mother’s twin brother) FitzSimons (sic), followed by twin son and daughter, Kent Fietz and Kristan Fietz, Although all three children were born in Bloomington, Illinois, the young couple lived in various apartments in Cincinnati before and after their births. His brother-in-law, Earl Johnson, later remembered Fred as ‘a gentleman,’ and one who ‘always had money in his pocket.’ Faye remembered Fred as a loving father to their children and, especially, his “black hair and black eyes …he was a good looking man.” His cousin, Eleanor, remembers his charm and his ‘wonderful sense of humor.’
Fred suffered a massive gastric hemorrhage 24 hours before his death on April 16, 1946. Reportedly caused by having had typhoid as a child, he had Malignant Hypertension (high blood pressure) for some years before his death. Faye remembered her family doctor telling her after he had taken Fred’s blood pressure that she would be a ‘young widow.’ Planning to sign a contract of deed on a home, Faye remembered Fred calling her suddenly, several days before his death, telling her not to sign the contract. She believed that he realized he was very sick and was afraid she would be left with a debt she could not pay. Faye, at the age of 31, was left with a 3 year old daughter and two 10 month old twins. Fred is buried at Park Lawn Cemetery in Danvers. His middle name is misspelled as Feitz on his grave stone. Leaving her children with her mother, Ella, then 65 years of age, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where she worked as a bookkeeper at the Building on Race Street in downtown Cincinnati. Eventually she was able to purchase a house, whereupon she moved the children from Danvers to 6735 Belkenton Avenue in Silverton, a suburb of Cincinnati. She soon after married Carl Huber. This was not a happy marriage but it continued until their separation in approximately 1961. Carl worked as a union meat cutter, working at many grocery stores in Cincinnati and losing many jobs because of his alcohol addiction. Faye opened her own business, Saveway Bookkeeping and Tax Service, and eventually opened an office at their home in Silverton. It is not known if a divorce was ever granted as Faye and Carl lost touch with each other after she moved from Cincinnati back to Illinois in 19 . By this time, Karen, 19, had left home and was living at the YWCA in downtown Cincinnati and working for Pepsi-Cola Company. Because of an increasingly serious alcohol addiction, Faye became estranged from her children, with Kent moving to Bloomington, Illinois, with his Aunt Myra and Uncle Earl, and Kristan moving to Danvers to live with grandmother Ella in Danvers. By now, Ella was approximately 80 years old. To Kris’ dismay, her mother also moved to Danvers and lived with her, Ella, and Ralph. Eventually Faye lived in downtown Bloomington at the Downtowner Apartments until her death in May, 1995. Ironically, the apartment building in which she lived was approximately 5 blocks from where her mother had apparently lived for some period of time while attending Bloomington High School, circa 1895.
Elmer Montague Simons, brother to Cora Simons, was born in Batavia, Kane County, Illinois on December 28, 1864. He worked in a variety of jobs, as a Knitter for the Mantler Lamp Company in Chicago, as a Bakery Manager, and reportedly retired as a Mechanic. Family history reports him as having been an alcoholic and he was apparently supported by his son, Fred, at least during part of 1945, according to a tax return filed that year.
Elmer died on May 8, 1945 of Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease, at the age of 80. He was a widower. He is buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, along with his parents, his first wife, Margaretha, and his second wife, Nellie. He also was known to his niece, Eleanor, as a ‘charming man, so sweet and such a wonderful sense of humor.’ She said recently that she still misses him. Because little was previously known of Elmer by his grandchildren, Eleanor’s recollections of him were a pleasant surprise. Although she acknowledges that he was ‘a drinker,’ she seems to have seen him as a pleasure and joy with whom to be near.
Elmer and Cora’s father was Alpha Simons, born in Westminster, Ontario, Canada on July 24, 1828. Reportedly, the family moved on to Lexington, Michigan in early 1841. According to a family history written in 1905 by Alpha’s sister, Mercy Helen “Nellie” Simons, and provided to us by Donald Simons, she remembers one of the earliest and only memories she had of Alpha was when he was packing his belongings on the dining table and ‘talking rapidly to my mother as was his manner of speech, and she was standing on the opposite side trying to persuade him not to go. But, as his fancy inclined him to the life on the water which had seemed to fascinate him as it is so apt to do when boys live by the water and see the great boats coming and going, nothing could prevail upon him to relinquish his idea. So, with his friend Osmel Nichols, when 17 (1845), he began his life’s work.” By about 1850 he was on a whaling vessel off the coast of England. In 1856, while accompanying his mother back to Westminster, Ontario, to visit her parents, Archibald and Mary ‘Mercy” Hagerman McMillen, and other family friends, he met Sarah Montague. Sarah was born in Middlesex County, Ontario, of John and Caroline Hungerford Montague on July 18, 1835. Again according to “Nellie,” “When Mother had greeted her friend, her daughter Sarah entered and, being introduced to my handsome brother, Alpha, both were somewhat embarrassed but seemed to have an admiration for each other at first sight.” In 1857, Alpha and Sarah married, reportedly at Rush Township near Owosso in Shiawassee County, Michigan. They apparently returned to Canada at some point as the 1910 Census shows his wife and child as having emigrated from Canada to America in 1859. Their daughter, Cora, was probably less than one year old when her parents brought her to America. Because Elmer was born in Batavia, Illinois, it seems the Simons family probably settled there for at least five years. So far, Alpha has not been found on the 1870 Census.
One year after this Census, the single most important event in the history of Chicago occurred. On October 8, 1871, during a time when the entire Midwest was parched from a mighty drought and several disastrous fires occurred throughout the area, the Chicago Fire rolled through the city. For two days the fire, composed of numerous whirling pockets of gas and air, called ‘fire devils,’ knocked down buildings and sent survivors jumping into Lake Michigan for safety. Nearly three hundred Chicagoans were dead, ninety thousand were homeless, and 17,450 buildings were destroyed. But within a week, six thousand temporary structures were erected and, throughout the ‘burnt district,’ grander, more elaborate and taller buildings eventually arose. Much blamed as being the source of the fire, Mrs. O'Leary's cottage survived, although the barn did not. Never again were wooden structures allowed to be built in the business district of Chicago.
Still surviving into modern times is the Chicago Water Tower. One of the few buildings to survive the Chicago Fire, it became a ‘civic symbol of the city’s will to survive.’ This Tower was built in 1867 in order to improve the city’s drinking water. The water at best tasted foul and at worst carried such deadly diseases as cholera and typhoid fever. Indeed, Chicago, built on a lake marshland, had been a breeding ground for deadly cholera, which swept the city periodically and in 1854 killed more than five percent of the population. Over the next twenty years, Chicago’s buildings were jacked up four to fourteen feet, higher foundations were built beneath them, the storm sewers were placed on top of the streets, and the streets were then filled up to the level of the front doors of the raised buildings.
Alpha is listed in the 1880 Census as living in Cook County, Chicago. All of the names of the family members are misspelled; Altheus Simons, occupation Sailor, Sarrah, age 40, Occupation Dressmaker, Dorra Simons, daughter, age 19, occupation School Teacher, and Elmore Simons, son, age 15, Clerk at a Wholesale Cigar Factory. “Dorra” is listed as having been born in Illinois and “Altheus and Sarrah” and their parents are all listed as having been born in NY.
Alpha Simons died on February 12, 1896, of a two year bout of ‘Chronic Catarrh of the Bladder and Kidneys. At the time of his death, he was 67 years, 6 months, and 19 days of age. His gravestone at Forest Home Cemetery reads, “Capt. Alpha Simons.” Having reportedly worked as a seaman since about the age of 17, by the time of his death he was a Ship Master and had sailed on Lake Michigan circa 1860 to 1890, with his home port out of Chicago. Sometime in 1871 (?), he and one of his brothers, purchased the brig, Orkney Lass, for $11,000. No other information is available on this purchase at this time.
Sarah Montague was born in Ontario, Canada, on July 18, 1835, reportedly in Middlesex County, the daughter of John Montague and Caroline Hungerford, both also of Ontario. According to Don Simons, he believes he remembers that the Montagues ‘have a strong presence in a country cemetery, perhaps named Kilbourn, just west of London near the Thames River. At age 80, she died of Senile Dementia on September 30, 1913 at the home of her daughter and a son-in-law, Charles Downer, who was her physician during her last year of life and signed her death certificate. She is buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Chicago, along with her husband, Alpha.
Forest Home Cemetery presently encompasses what was once two cemeteries: Forest Home and German Waldheim. The merged cemetery is located in the town of Forest Park, west of Chicago. It was originally the site of a village and burial ground of the Pottawattamie Indians from ancient times until 1835 when they were exiled to lands beyond the Mississippi. Later this locality was known as Indian Hill. Here stood the cabin of Leon Bourasea, a trapper. His Indian wife, Margaret, had been reared in this grove and, after the exodus of her tribe, she chose to remain near the graves of her ancestors. Upon the arrival of white settlers, these acres became the homestead of Ferdinand Haase and his family and were used as a family burial ground.
Waldheim Cemetery was organized by German Masonic lodges in 1873, while Forest Home was established in 1876. Unlike most other cemeteries, these two cemeteries were open to all, not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity or religion. As a result it became very popular with immigrants. In the 1950’s, because of the construction of the Eisenhower expressway, it was necessary to remove over 2,500 graves from the northern parts of Waldheim. All known descendants of the persons in those graves were notified by registered mail or public notices in the newspapers. In 1969, the two cemeteries merged and are now collectively known as Forest Home. The cemetery is split into two parts by the Des Plaines River. Twin iron bridges cross the river within the cemetery but both bridges are now closed to vehicle traffic and considered unsafe.
Although there is apparently some controversy over who Sarah’s grandparents actually were, Richard Hungerford, Jr and a Montague Family History (Susan Ann Montague, 1988), would seem to confirm that Caroline and her sister, Laura Hungerford, were the daughters of Samuel Hungerford and his wife, Abigail Kilbourn. Samuel was the son of Samuel Hungerford, Sr. and Mary Graves. He was born on December 7, 1771 in New Fairfield, Connecticut and was baptized in February of 1772. He married Abigail and they eventually settled in Westminster, Ontario, where he farmed. He died March 4, 1857 in Westminster, Ontario, and is buried in the Brick Street Cemetery.
His wife, Abigail Kilbourn, was the daughter of Joseph Kilbourn and Mary Coe Marsh. She was born about 1775. According to Montague Family History, Laura, a daughter of Abigail and Samuel Hungerford, married James Montague. Richard Hungerford, Jr believes that Caroline’s husband, John, was a brother to James. In this case, the two Hungerford sisters would have married the two Montague brothers.
Alpha’s parents were Anson and Lavinia McMillen Simons. Anson Simons was born on January 26, 1798, in North Granville, Washington, NY. An earlier Anson, born in 1783, died at the age of 10, in 1793, in NY. Anson left NY, moved to Canada, and married Lavinia on March 1, 1827, in Westminster, Ontario, Canada.
Lavina McMillan Simons was born in Westminster, Canada West (Ontario) in 1806. She came of ‘sturdy, rugged Scotch stock and her father, Archibald, was the original settler in the place where his daughter was born,’ according to an article in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Ingham…County. The article went on to say that ‘although her position in life compelled her to brave many hard experiences and to familiarize herself with the hard work that was necessary in pioneer days, there was a native dignity about her that elevated every act of her daily life. She was highly esteemed by all who knew her.”
Lavina was the daughter of Archibald and Mary McMillen. Mary is written of in a book entitled, The Pioneer Women of the West by Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, and published in 1873. Her husband was scalped by Indians in Detroit, Michigan, and her son, Archibald, was held captive for several weeks.
Anson and Lavinia’s oldest son, Alpha, was born the next year in Ontario. According to an official family history on-line, Lavinia and Anson had at least seven other children, Anson III, William, Leonard, Benjamin F, Mercy, Archibald (Archer), and Sylvania (Silenus/Sileanus). The family then moved to Lansing where Anson was a carder and cloth-dresser. Upon coming to Lansing, he built a factory and then purchased and built on to land previously owned by Joseph Kilbourne. He continued in that business for two years and then moved to Shiawassee County to farm. Soon after, he moved to Kansas upon hearing of State aid for agriculture and stock-raising there. He then returned to Lansing and lived with his son, Benjamin, until his death. Anson and Lavina were originally members of the Baptist Church but, during their latter years, united with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
There is one report from a descendent of Anson Simons’ that Anson was a clothier who joined in partnership with his brother, Descomb, in 1825, to run a woolen and grist mill in Yarmouth Township, NY. According to the marriage banns announcing the marriage of Anson and Lavinia, he was a cloth manufacturer. According to the banns, Archibald McMillen was one of the witnesses to this marriage.
Only a few Simons relatives lived in Canada, including Titus Simons, a grand-uncle of Anson’s. He was a Royalist, who joined the British Army during the American Revolution. There is a document listing officers of various corps of Royalists in Canada, and Titus was included in this listing as having entered the King’s Army in August of 1777 as a Lieutenant. He and his descendants settled in Flambro West Ontario (near Hamilton). In July, 1797, Titus was recommended for 2000 acres, ‘including former grants’ in the Upper Canada Land Book. It is possible that Anson moved to Ontario to live near his cousins for some period of time, meeting Lavinia while living there. Anson and Lavinia reportedly moved to Similac County, Michigan, in 1841. Reportedly, Anson’s brother, Benjamin, was a Michigan pioneer who moved to Ingham County, Michigan in the fall of 1847, first to farms at Gunnisonville, and DeWitt Township, and eventually settled in Lansing.
Eventually, Anson and Lavinia moved to Lansing, Michigan, Ingham County, where Anson died on October 7, 1867, at the age of 69. Anson appears in the Michigan 1840 Federal Census, living in Battle Creek and in the 1850 Census, living in Lansing. According to distant cousin Don Simons, Anson platted the first town of Lexington and is the founder. He and Lavinia are buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing.
According to Civil War information supplied by Don Simons about the Simons brothers, Archer Simons was 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and dark complexion. William Alvin was 5’8 ½” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion; Silenus A was 5’10 1/2” with blue eyes, light hair, fair complexion, and weighed 160 lbs. Anson Lewis was 5’8 ½” with blue eyes, dark hair, and light complexion. Although Leonard’s page is missing, his sister Mercy later wrote that he had ‘blue eyes, blond hair, and the merriest, sunniest, little Scotchman of all.” Of Alpha, she reports, “Alpha’s eyes were black, like his father’s, with very dark hair that was inclined to curl, a rosy complexion, and a sunny, merry, roguish disposition.”
Anson L and William A both served in Company E of the 4th Michigan Cavalry Regiment. According to a regimental history website, this regiment was one of two that received a monetary reward from the Government for the capture of the Jefferson Davis family. They shared this reward with the men of the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. The total casualty rate of the 4th Cavalry was 16.9%. With a total enrollment of 2217, 32 were killed in action, 15 died of wounds received, and 328 died of disease. To anyone’s knowledge at this time, Alpha did not serve in the Civil War.
Benjamin F Simons is written about in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Ingham…Counties. He was said to be an ‘old and prominent dry-goods man of Lansing, where he has been engaged in business for himself since 1860. He was born in Canada, December 30, 1838 and was moved to Michigan while still an infant. They first settled at Lexington, on Lake Huron, moving to Lansing when the capital was first located here, about 1848…he commenced his mercantile life in 1850 at which time he left his home and engaged in the employ of a man who was the owner of a store and was also interested in various other business. For seven years he was connected with him as clerk. In 1860 he engaged in the grocery trade…continued to be thus employed for two years and then sold out his interest and went into the dry-goods business and has thus continued ever since, now being the oldest dry-goods merchant in the city –that is, one who has been continuously in business. He has acquired a reputation for the greatest integrity in business matters and is one of the most prominent men. His store is one of the finest in the city and evinces the energy that its owner has brought to bear in his business relations. It has a frontage of twenty-two fee and is one hundred feet deep, having three floor. This edifice was erected in 1866 and he has been continuously in business here since that time. His store is filled with a finely-selected stock of dry-goods and so great is the taste of Mr. Simons that his windows are ever notable for the beautiful display of rich fabrics there found.”
The article goes on to state, “Although Mr. Simons casts his vote with the Republican party, he has never been actively interested in politics; leaving wire-pulling to men who can afford to neglect their own individual affairs in the hopes of securing emoluments from the Government. On November 7, 1867, our subject was married to Miss Adelina Jennison, a daughter of William Jennison, of Eagle, Clinton County, this State. The father was a peioneer of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Simons are the parents of six children who are as follows: Benjamin F Jr., who is engaged with his father in the store; Ida, Lena, Bertha, Jesse, and Howard.”
Anson was the son of Ebenezer and Hannah Pease Simons. Ebenezer was born on April 11, 1758 in Enfield, Hartford, CT. He married Hannah Pease on December 4, 1779 in Andover/Weston, Windsor County, VT. Hannah was the daughter of Ezekiel Pease and Jemima Markham Pease. She was born on December 22, 1757 in Enfield, Hardford, CT. Ebenezer appears in the New York Federal Census of 1800 and in the 1820 Census, along with Ebenezer, Jr. Hannah died August 23, 1831 in North Granville, Washington, NY. Ebenezer died on February 16, 1856 in North Granville, Washington Co., NY.
She and Ebenezer had many children, including, Ebenezer, Jr., Hannah, Huldah, Marcine, Descomb, Sarah, Ezekiel, and an earlier son named Anson, who died at the age of 10.
Ebenezer was the son of John, Jr., and Miriam Jones Simons. John was born on March 19, 1723/24 in Enfield, Hartford, CT. He married Miriam Jones on February 2, 1748/49 in Enfield. Miriam was the daughter of Caleb and Miriam Parsons Jones. She was born on February 3, 1731/32 in Enfield and died at the age of 73 on February 27, 1804 in Weston, Windsor, VT. John, Jr., died on April 22, 1797 in Andover, Windsor, VT, at the age of 75.
John Jr and Miriam had at least 10 children; John III, Miriam Jr., Mary, our descendant Ebenezer, Lotan, Dan, Alvin, Tabitha, Sarah, and Edward. Most of the children were born in North Granville, NY, until 1769 when the family apparently moved to Connecticut for several years. Their last child was born in 1777 in Chester, Windsor, VT. In the 1800 Federal Census of Vermont, Alvin and Dan are each listed, with Alvin having one female over the age of 45. As no males over the age of 45 are listed, it is possible that Miriam lived with her son, Alvin, and his family after the death of her husband, John.
John, Jr. was the son of John and Sarah Geer Simons. John Sr was born on January 24, 1694/95 in Enfield, CT. He married Sarah on December 1, 1723 in Enfield. Sarah was the daughter of Shubael and Sarah Abbe Geer. Sarah was born on January 5, 1704 in Enfield and died July 20, 1751 at the age of 47 in Enfield. John Sr died on January 27, 1781 in Enfield at the age of 57.
Children of John and Sarah Simons included; John, Jr., Sarah, Paul, Ebenezer, Asahel, and Charity, who died before the age of 3. She was followed by another child named Charity, Bathsheba, who also died before the age of 3, Titus, another Bathsheba who died at age 7, and Edward. It was Titus who eventually left America to spend the remainder of his life in Canada after having fought as a Royalist during the Revolutionary War.
John and Sarah apparently lived in Enfield, CT, all of their lives.
John Simons was the son of William and Sarah Hadlock Simons. William Simons, a farmer, was born about 1659 in Enfield, CT. He married Sarah Hadlock, the daughter of James and Rebecca Hutchinson Hadlock in about 1677 in Salisbury, Essex, MA. Sarah was born in September 1659 in Salem, Essex, MA and died on April 5, 1739 in Enfield. He and Sarah are both buried at Enfield St. Cemetery in Enfield.
William and Sarah had at least 5 children, all boys, including William, Jr., Joseph, John, James, and Philip.
there are a couple of things that I took information from that are much more detailed -- one of those things is a chapter from a book published in 1875 called The Pioneer Women of the West. It tells the story of Mary McMillan, who would have been your, I think, great-great-great-great-grandmother - when she lived in Canada and in Michigan, and her experiences with several indian scares, and the eventual killing of her husband by indians. It ends with, "After the termination of the Indian troubles, Mrs. McMillan maintained her family by her exertions, giving each of her children a substantial education, with such training as to fit them for every duty and vicissitude of life. She made enough to purchase a valuable piece of land near the Presbyterian church, with a large framed house, which is now known as the Temperance or Purdy's Hotel. Mrs. McMillan resides in the city with one of her sons, and is often solicitied by those who have heard something of her romantic history, to relate her adventures in detail, and describe the life led by many who like her, encountered the perils of war in a new country." Everything in the History is backed up with documentation
In the Simons family, there is also a Hungerford and a Montague line --- I've not been able to go very far back there - and can't find the actual documentation to prove the connection --- there is a castle involved. Your great-grandfather's middle name was Montague -- his mother's parents were a Hungerford and a Montague. I haven't written it up yet as there is so little I can find or prove.
Farleigh Hungerford --
Farleigh Hungerford Castle
In the Simons family, there is also a Hungerford and a Montague line --- I've not been able to go very far back there - and can't find the actual documentation to prove the connection --- there is a castle involved. Your great-grandfather's middle name was Montague -- his mother's parents were a Hungerford and a Montague. I haven't written it up yet as there is so little I can find or prove. Farleigh Hungerford -- Farleigh Hungerford Castle